I wasn’t going to add my thoughts, but I came across a few more comments, so, against my better judgment — and to hopefully move the conversation forward — here goes nothing . . .
One example often cited in favor of gun control is the auto industry regulation. However, the comparison to the automotive industry regulatory efforts and how we treat cars is flawed because we’re not talking about the same kind of regulation (pretty much anyone can and does get a license to drive a car, often as early as 16). Plus, the same at-risk population when it comes to guns is at risk from cars (look at insurance and accident reports). Finally, automotive safety regulations do not impede the function of a car (a 13-year-old can operate nearly any vehicle with an automatic transmission). In contrast, all of the proposed safety regulations pertaining to guns’ function make their use more difficult (why gun owners and cops oppose such regulations).
Some gun control advocates question Republicans’ argument for saving innocent lives (being pro-abortion) versus their reluctance to save school kids (being pro-gun). In principle, I like the comparison to the abortion issue, but that is aimed at one particular segment of the population, and it’s useless as an argument against a larger percentage of the population.
What’s the point here? Do you want evangelicals to change their minds on abortion or gun control?
If you’re trying to reach that rabid segment, using that flawed logic won’t work because it’s not that they disagree that school shootings are abhorrent. It’s not that they don’t want those children saved; they disagree on how to go about addressing the issue.
Personally, I would like to see specific proposals rather than hear the perennial “we must do something“.
We all acknowledge it’s a complicated issue and that very little is known about mass shootings. I’m excluding the ever-shifting definition of mass shootings, including gang shootings and incidents where the assailant knew the victims (families and friends shooting each other).
I read a number of gun control proposals — none of which address the specific cases of school shootings because those types of shootings don’t fit into neatly compartmentalized zones.
But, fine, let’s say we could put those proposals in place; and then? What do we do for the next indescribably horrific and random shooting by someone whom we cannot begin to understand?
Can anyone articulate the motive and chain of events that leads someone to look at a child’s fearful face and still shoot them?
Always, in hindsight, we figure out “all the signs were there” . . . and we did nothing.
Understand, I’m NOT saying “let’s do nothing“.
I’m saying stop making cosmetic suggestions and approach it from multiple aspects. It’s the mentality you have to change, and it’s not going to happen at the stroke of a pen. We had a long and twisted road here, and as long as we think we can fix it with a couple of pieces of legislation, nothing will happen, and we’ll continue on that twisted path.
Yes, we should have more gun control laws, checks, etc.
But, tell me . . . have we eliminated alcohol-related moralities? According to the CDC, about 12 kids a day die because of alcohol-related events (4 of them in automotive-related incidents). But we don’t see their faces and names in the news. So why is that not flagged as a huge problem?
Random school shootings kill fewer kids per year than are intentionally murdered by their parents. So what are we doing about parents who murder their children? Why can’t we stop it?
Again, I’m not trying to engage in “what-about-isms“, and I’ll repeat I’m very much in favor of gun control. The threshold to owning a gun should be high, with training and safety requirements.
. . . but first admit that our society, and specifically the way our legal system works, favors criminals, unbalanced individuals, and anyone with twisted intentions . . . because we don’t have the legal tools to remove dangerous individuals from circulation until they act.
That’s the actual so-called Price of Freedom.
. . . and people who buy guns often do so in reaction to that price.
Without other recourse, people will seek the means to protect themselves, and buying a gun is one of the cheapest options (be that a wise or stupid decision). Coming along and telling them they no longer have that right because someone else might abuse it isn’t going to cut it as an argument. It doesn’t with me.
Admit that specifically because our legal system’s response to violent crime is to punish it instead of preventing it, it’s very difficult to convince people to disarm; to become victims.
This is especially true since cops have formally and summarily abdicated the second part of their supposed motto (to serve and protect). READ THIS.
We’ve had an increase in gun purchases because in 2020 people were scared, and the result is more people with little to no training in the use and safe storage of guns. The anti-gun crowd might not like it, but even with more checks in place, those people would still have bought those guns (even people previously against owning guns broke down and armed themselves) . . . because they were scared and because our legal system does not restrict their right to do so.
Add that to the tremendous strain from the pandemic-induced societal disruption, and I’m not surprised by the increase in violent crime and gun crime.
Do guns make things worse? Yes, but they can also be the last recourse for someone in a very bad situation.
People in 2020 were scared because they perceived the US coming close to having a societal breakdown (something many say is still possible), a perception largely fueled by the media. People don’t think about buying guns when everything is going well. Crime goes down when things are going well, even in the presence of an abundance of guns.
On the other hand, it’s challenging to pass gun legislation when scared people empty gun store shelves of merchandise.
As to those who naively say we could “just” repeal or even change the Second Amendment, please inform yourself.
Yes, states can regulate guns, but we don’t enforce the laws we have, and I suspect new laws would be difficult to enforce. And, what do you do about the 300M guns already in circulation?
Before you suggest confiscation, please, take a civil liberties class and read the Constitution. Otherwise, you just sound ignorant.
If you want meaningful change, you have to engage the majority of the population, change the culture of violence, and change the culture that glorifies guns, and you don’t do that by denigrating them.
And you certainly don’t do that by proposing things that make little to no sense to the people who would be affected.
To that end, you need to inform yourself, understand others, get them on your side, and together work to a solution. A solution that, yes, addresses guns, but also a multitude of other contributing factors.
Am I hopeful? No.
Next time: why we can no longer afford the human toll of legalized alcohol and why you should stop drinking for a better world. No, wait . . . you can read about it HERE.
And so it goes.
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